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Taking Umbrage with Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Umbrage “There is a time when the community as a whole, their needs are better than the individual and I think more important. And right now the individuals are trumping the general populace at large. I find it frankly offensive and amoral.” Dr. Nancy Snyderman

(That's a snap of Professor Delores Jane Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She tries to take over Hogwarts school, and ends up being carted off into the forest, still shrieking commands, by a gang of angry centaurs.)

By Becky Estepp

I woke up last Wednesday feeling great. Months ago I had purchased tickets for the Angels vs. Red Sox game for that afternoon. My younger (neuro-typical) son and I were looking forward to a day filled with blue skies, sunshine, stadium snacks and rooting for his favorite team, the Red Sox. More importantly, my son and I would have one of those rare days that did not revolve around autism.

Angel stadium is an hour-and-a-half drive from our house, so we’d need to leave quite early to make the noon game. As I got ready to go, I turned on the TV and caught the Today show for about five minutes. As the television warmed up I could hear Dr. Nancy Snyderman talking about the whooping cough (pertussis) epidemic. My first thought as I listened to Dr. Snyderman was, “Why can’t autism ever be declared an epidemic?” While I am concerned that there are 1500 confirmed cases of whooping cough in my state (CA) and seven deaths from this disease is tragic; surely 1 in 100 children on the spectrum should justify the epidemic moniker. But sadly, despite the unprecedented and overwhelming number of children diagnosed with autism, it is still not recognized as an epidemic.

I felt more despair as I thought about the innocent babies that died from this disease. My heart goes out to these families. Their pain must be unimaginable. I wished life came with guarantees and that bad things never happened, but unfortunately, that’s not how life goes.  I hate that seven deaths resulted from the 1500 cases of pertussis. I do.  It’s awful.

But then I thought about how many children have been harmed by vaccination, including my older son. Immunization is not, nor has it ever been, a risk-free medical procedure. There’s no guarantee that that a child will be fully protected by a vaccine or that he/she will not experience a serious or deadly vaccine reaction. For parents, vaccine decisions are a careful balance of risk versus benefit.

With that depressing thought, I shifted my attention back to Dr. Snyderman who was really upset. She was (again) fired up about parents who were either not vaccinating or under-vaccinating their children thus allegedly causing California’s pertussis epidemic.

During the next two minutes, I heard several very misleading and over reaching statements from Dr. Snyderman. Watch it yourself HERE.

Here are the statements I took umbrage with:

Statement #1

“I think what we are seeing here is a tipping point in unvaccinated children because the hot pockets are in families where frankly parents have under-vaccinated or decided not to vaccinate their children.”

Over simplification is the word that first came to my mind. Dr. Snyderman did not provide a basis for this statement and could not know for certain that under-vaccinating or not vaccinating is the reason for this epidemic. Here are a couple of interesting quotes from two studies, one from the United States and the other from Great Britain that look at this issue more broadly and point out that pertussis is increasing even though people are getting vaccinated.

“Bordetella pertussis causes whooping cough, an endemic respiratory disease that is increasing in prevalence despite vaccination efforts.”
J Infect Dis
. 2007 Oct 15;196(8):1228-36

“Whooping cough is presently one of the ten most common causes of death from infectious disease worldwide. Despite a high vaccine uptake, resurgences of this disease have been observed in several countries.“
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis
. 2000 Feb;19(2):77-88.

In fact, the CDC backs up these findings with this statement on pertussis:

The reemergence of pertussis has been attributed to various factors, including increased awareness, improved diagnostics, decreased vaccination coverage, suboptimal vaccines, waning vaccine-induced immunity, and pathogen adaptation.

Dr. Snyderman didn’t provide any references for her opinion, but apparently the CDC or the articles mentioned above are not her sources. Instead, she inexplicably chose to attribute the entire epidemic on under and non-vaccinating parents. It is interesting that she never mentioned suboptimal vaccines, waning vaccine-induced immunity or pathogen adaption.

Statement #2

“In Marin County just north of San Francisco has more cases than anywhere else.”

This is true. Marin County experienced 195 confirmed cases of pertussis between January 1 and June 30, 2010. However, Dr. Snyderman neglected to report that Fresno County comes in a close second with 177 cases during the same period. According to the July 20th report in The California Watch, HERE Fresno County’s rate of personal belief vaccination exemption is much lower than Marin’s and yet they are only trailing by 18 cases.  Since the CDC attributes the spread of pertussis to several factors that may be synergistic, and because vaccination rates alone cannot explain the disparity between pertussis prevalence in Marin and Fresno Counties, it’s difficult to understand the basis for Dr. Snyderman’s opinion that lower vaccination rates are responsible for this epidemic.

Statement #3

“I am an unabashed, unapologetic advocate for vaccinations. They are safe. They work.”

Sometimes I wish I were one of those black and white type people that Dr. Snyderman seems to be. That is a much easier world to live in. It seems that living in Dr. Snyderman’s world, if you vaccinate your child, you are a good parent. If you don’t vaccinate, you are a bad parent.  Case closed.

But I don’t live there. I live in a world where there are shades of gray.  Parents have to do a risk-benefit analysis when it comes to vaccination based on a child’s individual medical history and/or circumstances. I also believe that parents have a right to philosophical and religious vaccination exemptions due to firmly held beliefs.

Also, when I hear Dr. Snyderman state that vaccines are safe and work without acknowledging that some children have been harmed and even killed by vaccines, I know she is not telling the whole story. If vaccines were safe 100% of the time for 100% of the people, there would not be a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program where 2480 claims worth millions of dollars have been processed since 1988. HERE

Dr. Snyderman’s claim that vaccines work contradicts my personal experience.  After my son was diagnosed with autism, we took him to see an immunologist. This doctor ordered several titer tests for the vaccines my son received as an infant.  The results were astonishing. At the time of testing, he had received the full schedule of vaccines. The tests showed that only mumps and rubella had shown conclusive immunity. The rest of the vaccines failed to produce immunity for him. Vaccine titer tests are not routine.  In reality, we actually have no idea how many children there are with no or low immunity to their vaccines. I wonder how many other children are like my son?

Brace yourself, the next statement calls into question our rights both as individuals and parents.

Statement #4

“There is a time when the community as a whole, their needs are better than the individual and I think more important. And right now the individuals are trumping the general populace at large. I find it frankly offensive and amoral.”

I am shocked and concerned by the implications of this statement. Dr. Snyderman is inferring there is an acceptable level of collateral damage in the war against infectious disease while inexplicably ignoring the science. Her personal opinion contradicts the CDC and the latest research while leaping to a judgment that parents enforcing their individual rights are compromising the community as a whole. 

How did she come to that conclusion? Why isn’t Dr. Synderman calling for further research to improve “suboptimal vaccines,” overcome “pathogen adaptation” or explain how “improved diagnostics” may be at the heart of this “epidemic.” Without an answer to these important issues, more infants will likely be at risk for pertussis infections regardless increased vaccination in their communities.

Based on her statements, it appears that Dr. Synderman doesn’t value individual rights and is unaware of the latest research concerning pertussis as well as the CDC’s findings on the core reasons behind the resurgence of pertussis infections. So how has she determined the needs of the community? And how does Dr. Snyderman decide whose life is more important, the immuno-compromised person who cannot be vaccinated or the individual who dies from a vaccine reaction? How does Dr. Snyderman parse out which life is more valuable?

There have been 1035 death cases processed in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Not all those claims have been compensated but many have. The sad and uncomfortable fact is that children and adults can and do die from a vaccine reaction but this is rarely mentioned. Their loss is not just individual, it hurts the community when a life is lost due to a vaccine injury.

I guess we are back to Dr. Snyderman’s black and white world. The world where she doesn’t recognize that people are sometimes harmed by vaccines or that vaccines don’t work all the time. That’s a safe world. I wish I lived there.  I live in a world where I saw my son harmed by a vaccine. I live in the world where most of my friends (not all) in the autism community saw the same thing happen to their children.

In a nutshell, Dr. Snyderman feels that a person is amoral and offensive if they do not vaccinate for pertussis because it allegedly puts others at risk. However, the resurgence of the pertussis vaccine is much more complex than she is willing to admit. Whether it’s pertussis or many of the vaccines recommended for young children, fighting infectious diseases isn’t necessarily as simple as increasing vaccination rates. The sooner that Dr. Snyderman and other doctors actually studies the science, the closer we will get to safeguarding the health of infants, developing vaccines that are safer and more effective, as well as protecting the rights of both individuals and the community.

Parents like myself are asking the CDC to fight infectious disease more safely. However, that reasonable request falls on deaf ears, just like the request to proclaim autism an epidemic. It’s awful.

Since Dr. Snyderman is an extremely visible medical professional with a huge platform to disseminate her views, I hope that she will take the time to read the science and consider the CDC’s findings before she makes more misinformed claims on the root causes of prevalence of whooping cough and other infectious diseases in our communities. Many more people heard her view on the whooping cough epidemic than will ever read this essay.  Dr. Snyderman has heard of thousands of parents reporting that their children regressed at the time of vaccination and refuses to listen, and now she refuses to acknowledge the science to further her personal opinion. Bottom line, THAT is amoral and offensive to me.

Becky Estepp is the mother to two boys. Her oldest son, Eric is a child with autism. Becky was an early member of Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) and assisted in the launch of the San Diego TACA Chapter in 2001. She has been leading the San Diego TACA Chapter since 2003 and worked for TACA for several years.  Becky’s latest role is Government and Media Relations Manager for SafeMinds. She has worked with the press extensively on issues related to autism and vaccine safety. Becky has appeared in such media outlets as: Good Morning America, ABC's World News Tonight, Wall Street Journal, CNN, USA Today, The New England Journal of Medicine and NPR. Becky has a B.A. in Communications from California State University, Northridge. Before autism came into her life, she worked as a marketing manager for Kaplan Educational Centers. Becky lives in San Diego, California with her husband, Jack and their sons.



Do we know for sure the kids had pertussis? If pertussis, do we know that the strain involved is one covered by vaccination? Just asking.


Thank you for posting this response to Dr. Snyderman. I am constantly disturbed by the misleading stories parents' are given regarding vaccination. If I knew then what I know now, my daughter would not have gotten so many vaccines so early and while she was sick. I thought I was taking care of her and believed that the risk was minimal- if there was any at all. Now that I know my daughter is autistic, I highly suspect vaccines had some role in her development of this disorder. I think MANY other factors also played a role in her autism, but that's the way autism is: it's a perfect storm. And everyone has their own path leading to that diagnosis. But vaccines cannot be counted out as one of many culprits.

Rosemary Brown

Until today I surmised my opinion of the Good Doctor Snyderman was my own. Personally, I've always found her condescending remarks quite difficult to digest, and I've dubbed her a "shill" for the medical paradigm most Americans seem to have embraced--until recently. Fortunately, with a voice loud and clear, many of us are questioning that paradigm, especially when it comes to those must-have vaccinations, flu shots, etc. I could go on...

My heart goes out to all parents whose children have been so tragically affected by vaccines. Keep shouting until they hear! Ms. Estepp, your article was truly concise, not to mention absolutely brilliant.


Thank you for your courage to speak the truth. Your conviction is to be admired.


Dr. Snyderman is a bimbo and she looks like one too. She obviously has been bought off by the people trying to cover up the autism, yes, "epidemic." Either that, or she is just plain ignorant. Either way, she should just keep her mouth shut!

Cynthia Cournoyer

For shaken baby see Gary Null's movie, Vaccine Nation.


Oops. Typo alert:

"They are immoral and sacreligious".

Please amend to read:

"They are immoral and sacrilegious".




If you go to Google scholar and look for "shaken baby" with Buttram as author, there are several articles on the same topic. I only see the Google books version of the story of Baby Alan, though.


Here's a new article from NVIC:

The decision whether to vaccinate or not is OUR choice to make. No one else's. This is a God-given right.

Government-mandated "portals" of vaccine-associated disease violate MANY tenets of religions around the world. They are immoral and sacreligious.

Cynthia Cournoyer

Ashland, Oregon is a case where more unvaccinated equals more health.

So, we've been vaccinating against pertussis for 70 years. When exactly would it be considered a failure?

There are many many many vaccines. Only two can be credited with wiping out that disease? Wow, not good odds there. Maybe it's not the fault of unvaccinated people.


Carol - the article you describe "...the Story of Baby Alan" is a perfect example of how horrific the vaccine schedules are. Do you a have link to the same article which doesn't require a password or a purchase?

SIDS/SUID/SBS is an extremely important topic because here we have an accurate timeline and histopathologic correlation. It is one of the most glaringly-obvious examples of vaccine-associated disease that I know of. The temporal relationship should be given considerable weight in establishing causality. That's why I'd like to see a whole array of potential biomarkers studied as a function of time in relationship to the vaccine schedules, using the vaccinee as their own control.

Dr Harold Buttram and Dr Viera Scheibner are heroes. They should be recognized as such.

Theresa O

Mill, Bentham, Locke ... who needs those guys? We have Dr. Nancy to define ethical behavior for us.

I have one for Dr. Nancy: Since 45,000 Americans die every year in motor vehicle accidents, is it "offensive and amoral" for any American to choose to drive or ride in a motor vehicle? After all, they are participating in a system that claims far more lives every year than whooping cough...

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Some babies died from whooping cough? Let me guess- Could it just be possible that this occurred during the months after their flu vaccines (mercury laden) which provided them with damaged immune systems?


Below is an interesting article, "Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) or vaccine-induced encephalomyelitis? The Story of Baby Alan"

Prematurely born Baby Alan was given DP[a]T, Hib, OPV at 8 weeks of age. The baby suffered severe adverse reactions and died 2 weeks later. The father was convicted of murder.

Investigation revealed that Baby Alan had received a vaccine from a "hot lot," Connaught Labs DTaP 7H81507.

michael framson

An excerpt on whooping cough in Jackson County Oregon from the Medford Mail Tribune about a month ago. Interesting comment on Ashland, OR. Don't know the exemption rate in the Rogue River school mentioned. The fact that they didn't cite the exemption rate in the Rogue River school, makes me think its not worth noting... unremarkable.

I have no use for the Today show and Synderman promotions of her self and her religion. Wake me when they say anything that matters.
Cases that have been confirmed in lab testing this year have hit patients ranging from 2 months old to 55 years old, Brown said.............Public health officials haven't seen any clear trends in who is getting sick or where the disease is hitting hardest.
"Rogue River has a slightly disproportionate number," Brown said, noting that most cases were linked to an elementary school there.

Ashland, where many parents choose not to vaccinate and which has been hit hard in past outbreaks, hasn't seen especially high numbers of infections so far, she said."


"And right now the individuals are trumping the general populace at large." And how will it affect the general populace at large when a generation of kids with such a high percentage of severe disabilities grows up and we their parents die off, and society must care for them? Will the social security disability system go bankrupt?

Magnanimous Mom

Morality is change for the better. Let's compare two scenarios and choose which one is on higher moral grounds.

1) vaccinate people against their will and call them immoral for their desire to follow their conscience and inner wisdom and heed the information, witness stories and compendium of data that influenced their non-vaxing decision


2) allow people to make informed consent decisions.

Given that Ms. Snyderman believes the moral option is #1, one must wonder if she slept thru her ethics classes.


Here's what I just sent them:
NBC has always been my favorite news and talk source, even after getting a satellite dish. However, I can no longer listen to the misinformation and condescension of "Dr." Nancy Snyderman.

I am a college professor, special needs and foster parent, and doctoral student in natural health. After her latest very misinformed, condescending spot on the Today Show, I have reached my limit, and will no longer allow NBC on in our home. (Even my 9 year old daughter is shocked by both Dr. Nancy's "information" - and it's saying a lot when a 9 year old knows that there is only one strain of whooping cough for which a vaccine is available, while the other strain is most often responsible for outbreaks - as well as her attitude.) Besides her scheduled spots, we all agree in our household that we wish to avoid advertisements and sound bytes of "Dr." Nancy that might appear at any time.

A loyal family bids farewell.


Alison, did you know a doc with a British company working on the Prozac (off patent) for Autism with Autism Speaks was named SNAPE? I wrote a post about that years ago for Resue Post. It was too delicious (like ButterBeer)to ignore. :)

Alison MacNeil

Big Harry Potter fans in this house. Thanks to folks like Nancy my son has to take a polyjuice potion of supplements every day three times, I think of Autism as a giant Dementor that sucked the joy for living right out of my child, and I wish the Cruciatus Curse wasn't a figment of Rowling's imagination.

Marion Lacasse

Anytime Dr. Nancy Snyderman is on the TV, my husband either changes the channel or puts her on mute.
We don't understand how she can know everything there is to know about every medical subject.
NBC needs to get rid of her!!!!!

Paul Shapiro, USA

-----------Dear Dr. Synderman-----------
---As the grandpa to a vaccine damage---
----grandson who received all the FDA ----- ------recommended vaccines------------
---on schedule and at 18 upon months----
------upon receiving the MMR Jab--------
--- faded into professionally diagnosed--- ----------------Autism------------------
--------Our entire family has been---------- ------living with this challenge-----------
--I'm tired of you shooting off you mouth-----on a topic you know little or nothing------- -----------about---------------------- Soooo, I'm sending you a big F U!--------- --------------------------------


Snyderman is a shameless. Remember "Get your damn shot people"? So articulate and intelligent. What an embarassment to the medical profession...


"Sometimes I wish I were one of those black and white type people that Dr. Snyderman seems to be."

No need - You are amazing.

Herd morality (fear) does not equate to individual ethics (belief).
And we have been TV free for years (YES!)


Carolyn Gammicchia

People like Dr. Synderman do what in their minds is long as the money is there. Didn't check her sponsor list, but I'm sure it's jam packed with folks that agree with her non-factual tirades.

As a parent of a vaccine injured child who is now 19 I'm tired of trying to change the thought process of individuals like her because it's not possible. If she wasn't self-directed she wouldn't be so black and white on the issue.

However if anyone with an open mind wants to hear our son's story, or the tens of thousand out there....we are always willing. Can't deny it by ignoring it. Our son is a human being and the damage transpired. Anyone who continues to ignore the fact will only provide that open path to others being harmed as well.

Cbus Mom

I just told the Today Show they lost a loyal viewer. If you want to do the same just click on the link below and fill out the form at the bottom of the page:


Laurette - Bravo! Well stated. I could not agree more. Thank you for the microbiology citations.

"We have exchanging relatively benign or at least treatable diseases for much worse and less treatable disease thanks to vaccines. We simply cannot vaccinate ourselves into good health!"

Vaccines, antivirals, and antibiotics are simply promoting bacterial adaptation and viral evolution, mutation, and recombination, into more difficult to treat disease.

Prevnar-13, meningitis vaccines, and HPV vaccines are absolutely frightening cases in point. To gain expedited market approvals from FDA for new vaccines these days only requires a showing that the new vaccine is no more acutely toxic than vaccines already in the market place, under the "non-inferiority" margin.

Meningitis vaccines are now mandated in many states. Don’t college students face enough challenges without having to cope with adapted, antibiotic resistant, meningococcal infections? Why not ensure that they avoid stimulants, e.g. adderall, get enough sleep, a balanced, nutritious diet, and vitamin D3 supplementation during the cold and flu season?

Gardasil received FDA approval based on pivotal studies wherein aluminum salts and/or Hep B vaccine, were used in the placebo arms. This is the epitome of "junk" science. Vaccine mandates violate our fundamental God-given rights. Pharma wants mandates for ALL of their toxic cocktails. If we continue on this course, we are on a fast track to fascism.

Germs are everywhere. We are all colonized. Not all germs are pathogens, in and of themselves. They are opportunists and readily adapt to the terrain they find themselves in. The vaccine schedules provide both a parenteral portal of entry and a chronically dysfunctional, sometimes acutely dysfunctional immune system, which when faced with certain opportunistic pathogens, can result in cytokine storm, a final common pathway to death. The pandemic flu of 1918 is thought to have killed via cytokine storm.

Would deaths have occurred without the portal of entry and the dysfunctional immune system? The vaccine schedules and widespread overuse of antivirals and antibiotics are selecting-out resistent strains of microbes, which are increasingly difficult to treat and impossible to eradicate. The new wave of vaccines with squalene "super adjuvants" have not been properly field-tested for safety. Where's the informed consent? If one exists, please share it with us.


Thanks, Becky, for showing how "Dr." Snyderman discards studies, stats and cases she finds inconvenient. Why can she get away with pushing anecdotes & false polarities by shaming and browbeating consumers? Oh, that's right -- it's all about protecting the media revenue stream.

Maybe she's taken Cicero literally: "When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff."

Adding insult to injury is not part of the Hippocratic Oath. Neither is adding injury to injury. It's bad enough when vaccines lack efficacy, but far worse when they cause harm -- and tragic that vaccine injury is treated only by a brave minority outside the blinkered medical mainstream.

What is Snyderman thinking -- prescribing treatment via TV for people she's never examined? Is she willing to bear the ethical and financial burdens for damage incurred by people susceptible to vaccine injury who take her advice against their better judgment?

Every September my son gets sick during the second week of school. I don't waste time snarling because other parents' children fail to wash their hands or cover their coughs. I remind him to do that, and try to boost his resistance with nutritional supplements, diet, exercise, and sleep.

As a mother, my first duty is to protect my son's health. I've seen how his body responds to certain foreign substances. To subject my son to further vaccine injury simply because of a former J&J shill's untenable TV tirade -- THAT's not just amoral, it's absurd.


I have seen ads for pertussis vaccination in magazines recently; normally those are long lead time placements, aren't they? Seems to me like the planned pandemic thing all over again. Really, how much longer do they think people are going to buy into this disingenuous bull?


Laurette - thank you for that highly informative post.

R Prasad


I am very much in agreement with you. I also quit watching NBC because of Bob Bazell, chief medical correspondent of NBC and unoffical spokesman for Vaccine and Pharma industries. Internet, which is full of complex information is a much better and neutral source of information than the big 3 lying netwroks NBC, ABC and CBS. CNN is little lesser evil.

Tracy McDermott

Fantastic essay! I missed this rant of Dr Synderman's but have heard her others, including the measles one. You hit the nail on the head, she lives in black and white and we all live on the spectrum of a rainbow, where red may shine titers, blue regression, green allergies, yellow attention issues, orange non verbal. The pot of gold is the truth, and together our children, and our endless "rant" for better research, ethics and humanity is being heard. You may think that Dr Synderman will reach more folks than this essay, but in truth, at 1 in 100, we have an opportunity to educate further than her two minutes. And we will!


Dr Snyderman, in all of her infinite wisdom, is not aware of the imperfect state of vaccine science? One size does not fit all children, just like not all vaccines will guarantee complete immunity. The drug companies know about how "one size fits all" does not apply to drugs, which is why they are investing millions in pharmacogenomics to prevent adverse drug reactions in patients with genetic susceptability- which costs them millions in lawsuits every year. In a perfect world, the theory of pharmacogenomics would be applied toward vaccines. But there is no financial incentive for pharma companies to do this. There is no financial compensation for those who are vaccine injured or who die after vaccines because it is a government program tied up with layers upon layers of bureacracy and a several year wait list to have a case heard in federal vaccine court. That's the tragedy. The 'system' is broken, which is why parents have no trust in the vaccine companies or the government which is supposed to protect their children. And- why they have taken matters into their own hands. You may call it reckless, Dr Nancy, but it's parents protecting their young against a broken public health system.


In the New England Journal of Medicine July 1994 issue a study found that over 80% of children under 5 years of age who had contracted whooping cough had been fully vaccinated.

A 1992 study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology shows that children die at a rate 8 times greater than normal within three days after getting a DPT vaccination.

A preliminary study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found children who received the HiB vaccine were found to be 5 times more likely to contract the disease than children who had not received the vaccine.

In 1977 Dr Jonas Salk (inventor of the Salk polio vaccine) testified with other scientists that 87% of the polio cases which occurred in the US since 1970 were the by-product of the polio vaccine.

The Sabin oral polio vaccine (OPV) is the only known cause of polio in the us today.

An outbreak of measles occurred in a high school with a documented vaccination level of 98 per cent. The outbreak subsided spontaneously after four generations of illness in the school and demonstrates that when measles is introduced in a highly vaccinated population, vaccine failures may play some role in transmission.

AND if you really want to get pissed off watch the following that's being played on TV all the time lately.

Mom of asthmatic

Thanks Becky for your honesty. I vaccinated my NT son with DTAP- all 4 boosters. A year after his 4th booster, he caught pertussis at daycare. He was very ill, even hospitalized. This is POST vaccination. He later developed severe asthma. There is research supporting delaying DTAP can lower incidence of childhood asthma up to 30% but I did not know this then.


The "greater good" mean an endless string of AAP "well baby visits" until your baby is no longer well...

and then a truly endless parade of pharma products and dr. nancy's.


Why do I so enjoy watching Nancy with her undies in a tizzy? It is so freaking alarming they get so worked up about certain "outbreaks" and yet autism continues to rise, destroying lives and families ... my God, how many children are dying due to "side effects" of autism? Or being murdered by their over stressed and sometimes mentally ill parents? Let's talk about outrage Nancy ... yes, my undies are in a tizzy too.

Laurette Janak

Carol posted:
From "Adaptation of Bordetella pertussis to Vaccination: A Cause for Its Reemergence?"

The same thing has happened with the use of the pneumococcal vaccine.

We have exchanging relatively benign or at least treatable diseases for much worse and less treatable disease thanks to vaccines. We simply cannot vaccinate ourselves into good health! See below for proof.


Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2007 Oct;26(10 Suppl):S12-6.
Evolving microbiology and molecular epidemiology of acute otitis media in the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine era.
“…recent studies have shown that the benefits of PCV7 are becoming eroded. Replacement serotypes of pneumococci have emerged, expressing polysaccharide capsules different from those included in PCV7, with increasing frequency.
Expansion of the number of serotypes included in pneumococcal conjugate vaccines is needed to sustain a long-term benefit from immunization against these bacteria.” 
Emergence of a Multiresistant Serotype 19A Pneumococcal Strain Not Included in the 7-Valent Conjugate Vaccine as an Otopathogen in Children
Michael E. Pichichero, MD; Janet R. Casey, MD
JAMA. 2007;298:1772-1778.
"Soon after widespread use of PCV7 was achieved, epidemiologists, microbiologists, clinicians, and public health authorities detected signs of impending problems. Beginning in 2003, just 3 years after licensure of PCV7 in the United States, reports began to appear of increasing isolations of non-PCV7 serotypes of pneumococci; the strains were found in the nasopharynx of children with AOM and with invasive disease.6, 13-17 At first, the non-PCV7 strains were reported to be generally susceptible to antibiotics; in particular, penicillin-resistant strains were relatively uncommon.8-22 This quickly changed, such that more recent reports described a rising prevalence of penicillin- and multidrug-resistant pneumococci among non-PCV7 serotypes.23-29 Emergence of these non-PCV7 strains appears to have occurred as a consequence of replacement of PCV7 strains, unmasking of non-PCV7 strains, and capsular switching among strains.23-24,28, 30 In 2007, Singleton et al31 reported that serotype 19A organisms had emerged among Alaska native children in 2004-2006 as an important replacement serotype strain causing invasive pneumococcal disease. Fortunately, these serotype 19A strains were not multidrug-resistant.
In April 2007, Singleton et al31 reported the occurrence of an increasing proportion of invasive pneumococcal disease among Alaska native children (a high-risk population) caused by serotypes of the organism not included in PCV7. The study used statewide longitudinal, population-based laboratory surveillance data from 1995-2006. They found that the invasive pneumococcal disease rate caused by nonvaccine serotypes increased 140% comparing the years 1995-2000 (pre-PCV7) and 2004-2006 (post-PCV7).
Changes in the pathogen distribution and antibiotic resistance patterns of bacteria that cause AOM will require continuous monitoring, especially as new vaccines become available. Trials of an 11-valent PCV vaccine have been completed recently in Europe.52 Licensure of a 10-valent version of this vaccine outside the United States is moving forward; however, it does not contain a 19A polysaccharide component. Trials are under way in the United States with an expanded product that will contain 13 serotypes including 19A."


Thanks Becky. I hope someone at NBC news actually reads this and confronts Dr. Spiderwoman. Oh i forgot, the news director at NBC is just following the memo from Director Sebellius to censor vaccine safety advocates and use scare tactics. same strategy leading up to the invasion of Iraq. these whooping cough deaths are just want the Paul Offitts and Dr. Spiderwomans have been waiting for you.

Abrienne Osipenko for 500, Alex.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, television is a government monopoly.

Gina Perales Waterman

Thank you for this brilliant article. It is just the thing I want to share with all my neurotypical mom groups... I know some of them will actually read the entire article; links and all.

Gina (mom to Kenneth, 6 yrs)


I use to follow NBC news...Snyderman is one of the reasons why I quit watching this network. Despite what Brian says, they kiss the --- of their advertisers every single time. Objective news? Naw, we can see through that!


Nancy Snyderman - "biostitute." I love it.

Teresa Conrick

Hi Patron99,

I am not in agreement re the genetics comment either. Just reporting the news =)


The Today Show is a joke - nothing but a several hour long infomercial hawking prodcucts, with Nancy a glorified Sham-Wow saleswoman.


Teresa - thanks for the link to the Catholic perspective. I disagree with one point in the article:

"Clearly genetics plays a primary role, but as the numbers pile up the possible effect of so-called environmental triggers like vaccines cannot be ignored."

It is not at all clear that genetics plays a primary role. If it does, we could be in some serious trouble, because a "cure" from pharma will likely consist of some genetic "engineering", instead of eliminating the portals of disease represented by the vaccine schedules.

Laurette Janak

Thank you Ms. Estepp for your response to Dr. Snyderman’s statements on vaccination. Like you, I too have personal experience with vaccinations that run contrary to what Dr. Snyderman stated on the Today show. I particularly take umbrage with Dr. Snydnerman’s comment that makes sweeping generalizations such as saying vaccines are safe and they work.

To expand on what you already have listed in your response, I would like to add the findings from two published studies; one having to do with pertussis effectiveness and the other its safety.

In 2005, the journal Pediatrics published an article titled, Pertussis Vaccine Effectiveness Among Children 6 to 59 Months of Age in the United States, 1998-2001 (Bisgard KM et al.). This study reported on 184 confirmed cases of pertussis in children between the years 1998-2001. Here is a quote taken directly from the study,

“Our results indicated that, under field conditions, receipt of >= 3 pertusis vaccine doses among children 6 to 59 months of age was highly protective against pertussis, regardless of vaccine type or manufacturer.”

However, further along in this study you find the following statement:

“In this study, 60% of pertussis cases were among children who had received >= 3 pertussis vaccine doses. Although protective against death and severe morbidity, pertussis vaccines are imperfect; after receipt of >= 3 doses, vaccinees can still become infected and symptomatic after significant exposure to B pertusis.”

By looking at the above 2 quotes we see that on the one hand they are saying 3 or more doses are “highly protective” and on the other we find that 60% of the pertussis cases were among children who had received 3 or more doses. Perhaps the issue lies in the definition of what it means to be highly protective. Since more than half of the case children had the “highly protective” rounds of vaccination, is Dr. Synderman correct in saying the vaccine works?

In this study, children who received at least one or two pertussis vaccinations were referred to as being under vaccinated. In other words, they had not received the protective 3 doses mentioned in the quotes above. A group of 96 children composed of BOTH case and control children were identified as being under vaccinated. Of these 96 children, the reason for under vaccination was known in 36 of the children (37%). Among the 36 children for whom the reason was given, 5 children were under vaccinated due to parental refusal while an equal number were under vaccinated due to a “reaction to prior pertussis vaccinations”. Would Dr. Snyderman’s black and white world have called these 5 children’s parents amoral for not vaccinating completely? How many more children would have fallen into this category had the reason for under vaccination been determined in all 96 under vaccinated children? Is this vaccine really safe if that many children are having reactions to the vaccine? To take a look at the safety issue I will tell you a little about my daughter’s experience with her DTP vaccination and then bring up one more study.

My daughter Emily received her first DTP at 3 months of age. Within days of the vaccination she was in the hospital emergency room in critical condition. She was diagnosed with systemic infant strep B (strep B is also found in urinary tract infections). I asked if her getting ill had anything to do with her recent vaccination. The doctor said no that it was just coincidental. Back then I believed whatever doctors told me so 2 months later Emily received her next DTP vaccine. Again she became sick, this time bilateral ear infections occurring within days after vaccination. I used to be gullible for the type of fear and guilt promoted by people like Dr. Synderman so I proceeded 2 months later to get the third DTP vaccine for Emily. Again Emily became sick within days of vaccination. I thus began my investigation into the safety of vaccinations.

Why would a child who was exposed to strep B from her mother’s birth canal not manifest an actual symptomatic strep B infection until 3 months later upon the challenge of a DTP vaccine? The answer to this and to her subsequent infections would come from the study cited below.

Urinary tract diseases revealed after DTP vaccination in infants and young children: cytokine irregularities and down-regulation of cytochrome P-450 enzymes induced by the vaccine may uncover latent diseases in genetically predisposed subjects. Am J Ther. 2004 Sep-Oct;11(5):344-53.

It has long been known that the pertussis component of the DTP vaccine strongly triggers a molecule (cytokine) that causes inflammation. One of theses cytokines is called IL-6. It is by this mechanism of increased IL-6 that the DTP vaccine is capable of taking a latent, asymptomatic colonization of bacteria and transforming it into a full-blown illness, as was the case in my daughter. We must keep in mind that all of us harbor many different types of bacteria within our bodies that live there harmoniously unless triggered by some event that causes imbalance. An example of this would be finding strep in the throats of healthy individuals. So how can the balance be thrown off?

The DTP vaccine can cause a, “…steady enhanced production of proinflammatory cytokines that result in a local cytokine milieu imbalance leading to subclinical, sometimes allergic, protracted inflammation and enhanced bacterial growth and finally to the flare of disease symptoms.”

In other words, the vaccine causes an imbalance in the proinflammatory molecules, which are then able to fuel the growth of bacteria that are present culminating in disease manifestation. In a word, what we have is OVERLOAD, which then converts the otherwise healthy person into a sick person via the stimulation of the vaccine. This may be the reason ear infections have been documented (Fisher MA et al. 2001) to occur so frequently within days of vaccination. The use of antibiotics to treat these vaccine related ear infections can contribute to the growth of undesirable bacteria which can be problematic during future vaccinations.

The study further goes on to tell us that an increased production of IL-6 due to genetic differences may play a similar role and could predispose some infants with infection to a more than usually intense inflammatory response. The inability to turn off an inflammatory response triggered by vaccination may result in other disorders including auatism. Some doctors feel it is OK to vaccine children even when they are mildly sick; is this moral?

“Polymorphism in some genes of the host immune system is associated with susceptibility to infections and, in contrast, using vaccines as probes of the immune system is a novel means of identifying disease susceptibility genes.”

In lay terms the above quote means that your child’s adverse response to a vaccine can be used to reveal genetic differences in your child. So instead of running genetic testing prior to vaccination, the vaccine itself is utilized as a genetic testing tool. By observing the outcome of vaccination on diseases other than those the vaccine was designed to protect against you can draw conclusions about the child’s genetic differences. Think guinea pig. How moral is that Dr. Synderman? I now have the knowledge that my daughter does in fact have a genetic difference in her production of IL-6. Am I amoral for declining additional vaccinations?

To see how this might relate to autism we must digress slightly and look at a few quotes that come from an article, which appeared in Medscape on November 9, 2009 written by Sue Mulley. The title of the article was: Maternal Cytokine Profile May Affect Autism Risk. Here are the quotes of significance as they relate to this discussion:

“Children who inherit polymorphisms in cytokine regulatory genes from their mothers appear to be at greater risk of autism, according to a presentation by US researchers here at the 5th Asia Pacific Congress in Maternal Fetal Medicine.”

“Overall, about 50% of autistic children appeared to have inherited their mother’s polymorphisms or cytokine profile that tended toward pro-inflammation.”

Dr Synderman, where are the safety studies showing that it is safe to use the pro-inflammatory DTP vaccine on children who already have a genetic difference that promotes inflammation? Are vaccines tipping the scale in these vulnerable children and causing autism? Is it moral to mandate a vaccine to an entire population without studying its effects on the brain of the recipients especially when combined with genetic studies? What about the proinflammatory state seen in the elderly; are vaccines contributing to their development of dementia?

Before closing it is worth mentioning that the DTP study tells us there is a significant difference between the DTP status of SIDS cases and controls in infants younger than 3 months and that the mechanism described by this author, “may also be responsible for some cases of sudden infant death syndrome, which is often preceded by infection/inflammation.” Is it moral to keep this information from parents? How many babies who died needlessly from SIDS were really those babies detected by using the “genetic probe” of the DTP vaccine? Is is moral that these babies should die for the protection of us all; what if this was your child Dr. Synderman?

“Moreover, recent findings from animal and human studies confirmed that DTP vaccination increased the risk of allergies and related respiratory symptoms in children and adolescents and caused reactive arthritis and immunovasculitis with cardiovascular shock and panarteritis nodosa (after DT vaccination).”

Is it moral to say vaccines are safe when there are known risk factors associated with them? You be the judge.

Dr. Snyderman:  Double Dipping Biostitute

Apparently, it's not enough for Dr. Snyderman to only draw a salary from NBC partly derived from Pharma advertising.

Snyderman also gets paid by Glaxo Smithkline.

Snyderman is a founder of Lluminari.

Glaxo Smithkline sells a variety of pertussis vaccines.

It's outrageous that NBC does not require Dr. Snyderman to declare her conflict of interest. She is a vaccine saleswoman, nothing more.


The greater good ignores the injuries our children sustained with vaccinations. We have an up-close-and-personal-view of just how compassionate the greater good really is, and the greater good has no concern for our kids. The greater good is offensive and amoral.


Katie Wright

Nancy is so past it- so delusional


Pertussis (whooping cough) outbreaks occur among the vaccinated and it appears the offending organism may have adapted under pressure of wide-spread vaccination:

"In The Netherlands, as in many other western countries, pertussis vaccines have been used extensively for more than 40 years. Therefore, it is conceivable that vaccine-induced immunity has affected the evolution of B. pertussis. Consistent with this notion, pertussis has reemerged in The Netherlands, despite high vaccination coverage. Further, a notable change in the population structure of B. pertussis was observed in The Netherlands subsequent to the introduction of vaccination in the 1950s. Finally, we observed antigenic divergence between clinical isolates and vaccine strains, in particular with respect to the surface-associated proteins pertactin and pertussis toxin. Adaptation may have allowed B. pertussis to remain endemic despite widespread vaccination and may have contributed to the reemergence of pertussis in The Netherlands."

From "Adaptation of Bordetella pertussis to Vaccination: A Cause for Its Reemergence?"

So the vaccine doesn't work very well; it wears off and it's one of the most dangerous...sign me up for a booster!

A Heretic

If the quotation is correct, then Nancy is about as educated in English as in science. It seems to me she meant "immoral" not amoral. Either way, who is she to pass moral judgements?

I think it is immoral to use any vaccines that have been tested on the babies of unsuspecting mothers in poorer countries. I think it is immoral to participate in a system that is leading to more virulent pathogens capable of causing more severe diseases. I think the profits of big Pharma and the salaries paid to people like Nancy are immoral. I think it is immoral to not compare the health, behavior, development, and intelligence of vaccinated versus never vaccinated children.

Teresa Conrick

The Catholic Church has not been silent and this may be a good opportunity to let Snyderman know that:
An Untreated Epidemic?
The editors | NOVEMBER 2, 2009
the cover of America, the Catholic magazine

Autism spectrum disorder is a medical catch-all classification that includes a range of neurological syndromes. It covers people with pervasive development disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and mild-to-severe “classic” autism. In children, symptoms of autism spectrum extend broadly from minor challenges with social interaction and sensory integration all the way to the kind of complete withdrawal and accompanying physical disabilities most often associated in the public imagination with autism. Autism’s telltale signs include lack of eye contact, sporadic or prolonged lack of awareness of others and repetitive motions and vocalizations. A diagnosis of autism can be the predictor of a lifetime of difficulty for the children and families affected, but it also represents significant costs to local school districts at the front line in the age of autism.

Not too long ago estimates of the number of children with autism were as low as two to five in 10,000. Just two years ago that number was revised to a startling one in 150 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new survey published in the monthly Journal of Pediatrics suggests the number of children “on the spectrum” in the United States is as high as one in 91 among all children and one in 58 among boys, a revision corroborated by a parallel study by the C.D.C. That means that 673,000 U.S. children—1.1 percent of children ages 3 to 17—and a comparable number of U.S. families are grappling with autism and the impact that diagnosis has on family life and, not least of all, family budgets.

A C.D.C. statement noted: “These data affirm that a concerted and substantial national response is warranted.” This is the kind of rhetoric we have already heard as the autism spectrum numbers leapt higher. When will that concerted response begin? It is true that new federal money—$100 million—has recently been directed to autism research as part of the economic stimulus package, but even that lofty figure pales in comparison to the commitments made to other, similarly large-scale public health crises. Though it now clearly affects a much higher number of children, autism has historically received only a fraction of the monies devoted to other childhood afflictions. Over the long term, this apparent epidemic will represent an as yet undetermined cost to U.S. society as it attempts to respond to the special needs of children, teens and adults with autism.

One fundamental question needs to be answered immediately: Are these numbers “real” or just a statistical anomaly generated by greater awareness of autism? After years now of rising anxiety because of reports of autism’s increasing prevalence, how is it possible that a public figure as prominent as Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, still cannot say for sure if the higher numbers recorded by her own researchers merely reflect better reporting and a broadening diagnosis?

If an alarming increase in autism is indeed occurring in our homes, and not just on statistical spreadsheets, then we need to confront this problem as the major health care crisis that it is. Discovering more about what provokes this puzzling neurological syndrome and how it can be treated effectively should be a major C.D.C. priority. Much of the institutional debate surrounding autism spectrum disorder has revolved around its suspected connection to the increasing vaccine load required of U.S. children. More research needs to be done to confirm or deny this hypothesis about the origins of autism before faith in the entire vaccination enterprise collapses. Clearly genetics plays a primary role, but as the numbers pile up the possible effect of so-called environmental triggers like vaccines cannot be ignored.

While a more determined effort to address the causes of autism and develop strategies to prevent it is absolutely necessary, another serious lapse also needs attention: the lack of support for families of autism-spectrum children. Parents of children on the spectrum are growing more confused about how to help their children even as they grow more vulnerable to medical quackery of all sorts. Many have waded through oceans of bureaucratic ridicule or indifference to find treatments they say are working. Such parents find themselves falling into a void between what they believe they can do to help their children and what insurance plans will cover or school districts provide. Many proven therapies are extremely costly but must be paid for out of pocket by parents. With evidence building that early intervention is crucial in the response to autism, families frequently find themselves balancing bankruptcy against the obvious needs of their children. It is a choice they should not be forced to make.

When Jesus said, “Let the children come to me,” it was a gesture of benevolence. It was also an acceptance of responsibility. Autism is not something that happens only to “other” families. These are our children. Let them come to us and be helped or healed, or at the very least be comforted.


That figure from the March of Dimes is 10,000 babies are born in the US every day! the math from there!

Erik Nanstiel

@ Tanners Dad... big pharma's proponents have hijacked the MEANING of the word "amoral" and redefined it, along with the meaning of the word "science"... the word "ethics," etc.


A favorite clip of Dr. Nancy... sort of a pretty vaccine hooker

Dr. Nancy Says Get Your Damn Vaccine!


@ Tanners Dad - this post pulled my chain, too. The unmitigated gall of Schneiderman to be preaching morality to us. Why has the church been silent on this topic, arguably one of the most important public health issues of our times? Frankly, the vaccine schedules are much closer to voodooism, satanism, and rape, than to Christianity.

How is the injection of foreign proteins, known neurotoxins, non-human DNA, aborted fetal tissue, oncogenes, reverse transcriptases, and retroviruses, into our bodies, serially, from cradle to grave, considered moral? Help me understand this.

I am a God-fearing Christian. For reasons discussed above, I consider myself to be more spiritual than religious. We need a hero from the church to speak out on this topic. It is precisely the lack of any sound moral basis for the vaccine schedules, that is in large measure responsible for the current epidemic of vaccine-associated diseases.


from one autism mom to another - thank you for this essay.


Meanwhile: 'simple tests such as those for eye movements or cognitive deficits could be used in the meantime to indicate a couple's risk of having an autistic child.'

'Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe' - Albert Einstein

John Gilmore

Hi Becky,

WIth all due respect, this is exactly the type of thing that comes from rooting for the Red Sox.

John Gilmore
Long Beach, NY

S. Perrin

In my opinion every word that comes out of Nancy Snydermans mouth is offensive and amoral. Furthermore if she were to talk about any REAL sience she would no longer have her job. She is just another STOOGE reading a script and collecting a big fat pay check.


In the March of Dimes campaigns to promote awareness of premature births, they have used the figure that 10,000 babies are born in the US each year.

The 1-in-100 children have autism figure needs to be given some perspective and meaningful figures that everyone can understand.

Heres a start:

Everyday 100 children will be born who will develop autism. That's 700 autistic children per week, 3,000 per month and 36,500 per year. At the current rate of autism diagnosis of 1 in 100 children, every 6 years, nearly a quarter of a million children will be diagnosed with autism.

Compare that - more than 200,000 newly diagnosed autistic children every 6 years to any other disorder or disease rate out there.

Jenny Allan

I find it frankly offensive and amoral.” says Dr. Nancy Snyderman, complaining about parents who fail to have their children vaccinated because of genuine safety concerns.
Well, speaking personally,I find smug ignorant persons like Dr Snyderman 'frankly offensive and amoral'. Her 'pro pertussis' vaccine zeal bears no relation to the actual recent facts about pertussis, which seem to confirm that vaccines, far from eradicating whooping cough, have enabled this virus to become resistant and develop more devastating consequences to those persons contracting this infection. This is analagous to antibiotic resistance, resulting in such 'man made' hospital horrors as MRSA.


Great post, Becky. The church is not blameless here. Not by a long shot. Snyderman is clearly just another pharma shill, someone who has made a faustian bargain and sold her soul.

Sir Leonard Horowitz has for quite some time, seen the big picture.

“In essence, we have a pie a geopolitical pie that’s been divided in half. You’ve got the religious world controlling half of the pie, you’ve got the political world and the governments controlling the other half”

“It’s the truth alone solely that shall set us free”

“there’s no political savior in capitol hill that is going to do this”

“it’s a spiritual evolution and it’s a personal spiritual process within each of us that we must take responsibility for” – Sir Leonard G. Horowitz


"And how does Dr. Snyderman decide whose life is more important, the immuno-compromised person who cannot be vaccinated or the individual who dies from a vaccine reaction? How does Dr. Snyderman parse out which life is more valuable?"

You don't mean this!!!
My vaccine injured kids are not just as important as my neighbor's kids that did just fine! We are less than human and we need to be exterminated - I just must accept this!

My vaccine injured kids are not as important as the red headed girl at our church that was damaged from the actual whooping cough disease as a baby. This just can not be that they are just as important as she????

Of all the mean things I have had to contend with over the years, of all the angry feelings I have had to swallow up: this and this alone is what has made me the most hurt and most angry - that my kids are deemed as not as important as anybody else.

Bob Moffitt

As bad as Nancy Snyderman is .. the bigger problem to me are NBC's interview celebrities .. in this instance .. Meredith Viera .. who sat quietly as Nancy boasted she is an "unabashed, unapologetic advocate for vaccinations. they're safe, they work".

After all, Meredith is the person who should have challenged Nancy to explain why we have a vaccine court if vaccines "work" and are as "safe" as Nancy believes them to be?

Or .. asked Nancy if there may be other factors beyond failing to vaccinate children responsible for the ressugence of whooping cough .. such as .. "suboptimal vaccines, waning vaccine-induced immunity or pathogen adaption"?

Someday, I would like to see NBC subject Dr. Nancy Snyderman to a less friendly interview .. such as .. Matt Lauer's recent interview of Dr. Wakefield.

Tanners Dad

Call me a "Refrigerator Dad / Mom", A parasite, pariah, fanatic, poor parent, or any other name but "AMORAL" Dr Snyderman will have more than the religious community to explain that one too... Thank You Becky... I do not need to start the coffee this morning ... I am wound Up!

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